Tuesday, February 8, 2022

When the Creative Stream Stops Flowing


        I don't actually have writer's block, but I may have a problem with a transition from one scene to another or knowing how to develop an idea. Looking at a blank page doesn't scare or worry me. Not finding the right words does.

        So, what does a person do who isn't able to continue or to start writing? Allow me to share a few ideas. 

        Often people complain they have writer’s block. They stare at a page, whether paper or computer, and nothing comes. Their brain matches the page – blank. I never had that drastic a problem because my mind keeps working but perhaps can’t find just the right words, can’t get that just right description, or can’t decide how to create a word bridge between scenes. So, all authors need ways to turn those creative ice blocks back to a full stream again. First, we need to consider the reasons for any block before we look at ways to overcome the problem.

         Jeff Goins lists the main reasons he discovered for the creative stream stopping:

• Timing: It’s simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
• Fear: Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
• Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin.

         Although, Goins wrote about blogging, writing is writing. Most ideas cross between all types of writing to a certain extent.

         Goins also gives suggestions of what not to do to try to overcome writer’s block:

• You do not overcome writer’s block by refusing to write until you feel “inspired.”
• You do not overcome writer’s block by wallowing in self-pity.
• You do not overcome writer’s block by procrastinating or making excuses.
• You do not overcome writer’s block by watching TV.
• You do not overcome writer’s block by reading articles on how to overcome writer’s block.

         Now, let’s discuss some ways to restart the creative stream. Both Goins and Pete Croatto suggestion moving away from the situation. Croatto says to change location to find inspiration. Goins says to go for a walk. One way I can restart the process is to work on something else for a short period of time. When I return to the first project, my mind has worked out the problem whether it is a needed transition or an idea that needed development.

          By removing ourselves from the “blank” page, our minds can be sidetracked from the problem and have an opportunity to find stimulation or inspiration. 

Croatto, Pete, “Parallel work,” The Writer, May 2018, page 10.
Goins, Jeff, “How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks that Work,” https://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/
Zabel, Vivian, experience and methods from the teaching


  1. I discovered a reason I cannot write an intro, a bridge between scenes, or a decent conclusion is due to fatigue. Some kinds of writing require that I work at my full potential. Napping is my way to deal with writer's block. In my study of creativity I've learned that a few people actually have come up with solutions to problems in their dreams.